Post-positivism: an effective paradigm | My Assignment Tutor

Post-positivism: an effective paradigm for social and educational researchAbdul Hameed Panhwar Sanaullah Ansari Asif Ali ShahAbstract This paper attempts to justify the position of post-positivism as a rich paradigm for educational research, specifically pedagogical research. It aim to discuss how educational research has been dominated by constructivist or interpretivist approaches thus, ignored in the context of scientific investigations. In the context education, scientific methods such as the use of quantitative approaches are not very much emphasised and the focus is mostly on qualitative data. Therefore, it is discussed that how post-positivism could be helpful in addressing the problem of the lack of the more scientific research approach in education. The position of post-positivism and its connection to educational research has been clarified and critically discussed. The article further goes on enumerating the advantages of post-positivism in education research specifically focusing on its pluralistic and critical multiplistic aspects. For example, despite the fact that post-positivism uses various instrument to examine a phenomenon clearly and closely, it still believes that no universal truth is found and post-positivist research is only an attempt to explore a phenomenon as much as possible. Finally, the article also discusses how post-positivism is suggestive of mixed methods research and it is different from pragmatism as a paradigm.Keywords: Post-positivism, education, constructivist, research, multiplistic.Introduction Post-positivism stepped forward as a reaction of educational researchersto the limitations of positivism as a paradigm. Educational researchers discovered that positivism cannot fulfil the requirements for social sciences’ research as it (positivism) bases itself on observable and empirical analytic facts. As a reaction to its orthodox nature towards quantitative empirical analytic based research, the researchers of social sciences and education came with the idea of mixed paradigm combining positivism and interpretivism and making a new paradigm named post-positivism (Petter & Gallivan and 2004 Deluca, Gallivan, Kock, 2008). Post-positivism is ‘a certain pluralism’ which balances both positivist and interpretivist approaches. It focuses on researching issues in the context of involving experiences of the majority and announcing the results of what the majority says is acceptable (Wildemuth, 1993; Fischer, 1998; Phillips and Burbules, 2000), whereas post-positivism, along with quantitative analysis, includes the perspectives of historical, comparative, philosophical, and phenomenological analysis (Fischer, 1998). Although post-positivist research scientifically strives to explore the phenomena, it believes, unlike positivist research, that the absolute truth is nowhere to be found (e.g., Wildemuth, 1993; Guba and Lincoln, 1994; Phillips and Burbules, 2000). Post-positivism does not aim to disapprove the scientific/quantitative elements of positivism in the research, rather it emphasises a proper understanding of the directions and perspectives of any research study from multi-dimensions and multi-methods (Guba, 1990; Fischer, 1998).Furthermore Post-positivism is a form of justification for alternative paradigm after the failings of positivism/253


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